Category Archives: Learn to Drive

Written Test for Driver’s License

Wendy decided to learn to drive. I drove her to take the written test for driver’s license and I waited outside. So I can take some pictures of the test venue and process (I couldn’t last time). I wasn’t able to capture the scene inside the testing room.

The Place

There are many venues to take written tests. They are typically far from downtown – the two I know are all out of the A20 (the outter ring). Here is the location of the testing venue Wendy went to:

These test venue are typically owned by the driving schools and monitored by Shanghai Vehicle Adminstration.

The Hall

Many people waited there to take the exam.

shanghai-hall-driving.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

Entrance to the Testing Room

shanghai-waiting.for.exam-driving.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

Shanghai uses advanced but cost-effeictive technology in the driving exam. All examinees are required to press on a finger print reader and to take a picture with the small webcam. The same finger print and photo will be checked every time the trainee practices on a car. The total hours are recorded. Only after you proove that you have attended enough training YOURSELF can you pass the exam.

CAT (Computer Aided Testing

shanghai-test.machine-driving.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

This is the computer used to conduct the test. Examinees are required to press on the finger print reader again to verify identify before they can start the exam. The small keyboard on the right performances select (A, B, C or D) and page up, page down functions.

Wendy finally passed the exam and soon, after hand in the 4200 RMB tuition, she can start her own journey to driver’s license.

First Day Driving Experience

After started to learn to drive for 3 months (counting from my first entry on this topic on June 28), I finally rent a car and drove it onto the road, by myself.

The car is so so – a Volkswagen GLi. The good thing is, the discounted price for this one day rent is only 80 RMB. Not bad deal, isn’t it?

map-drive.route-first.day.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

Above picture shows the route I drove on the first day – the blue line is the route of the day time and the orange line is the route of the night. :-) The conclusion is, the traffic situation in Shanghai is not that bad.

Joined A Club to Rent a Car

I joined a car club named Coco today. I did got some email asking me about the car club I mentioned in my previous article Eager to Drive Soon. The price of 160 RMB per day for a Volkswagen is definitely a very good price comparing to 300 RMB or more from Avis.

Here is more information about the company if you are interested in:

Location: 601, #27, 1520 Hua Shan Rd., Shanghai

Phone: 021-62805959 Miss Zhang or Li

The rule is, you reserve a car in advance – maybe 5 days before, and get the car between 9:00 – 10:00 AM at their company. Then fill it up with the oil, drive it and return it to the company between 8:30 AM and 9:00 AM. This plan works perfect for me since after I return the car, I can take bus 44 for two stops directly to where I work in the morning.

Of course, I gave them 3800 RMB + 30 RMB (card fee) membership fee. The money will be returned at the end of the year.

Something interesting is, they offer 5 days of on-sale price. You can choose five days within the year to rent a car for 80 RMB only (the Volkswagen). I got an additional coupon when I told her that I was referred by an existing member. She gave me two coupon – one for me and the other is for the referer. :-)

Eager to Drive Soon

Driving? I never felt so excited and eager to drive before I finally get the confirmation that I passed the final exam for driver’s license. It is said the license will be delivered to me within the next week, that means, I can drive lawfully on the street from then on.

I don’t have a car and I don’t think any of my friend want to lent their cars to me. It is common practice that car rental companies will not rent their cars to new driver within one year after their licenses are issued. That is a very big problem for people like me.

Thanks God I heard there is a nice car rental company from my friend Roy. They require their club members to hand in 3800 RMB at the begining of the year and the money will be returned at the end of the year. During the year, club member can rent cars at low price. Here is the price list I got from them on the phone:

Volkswagen Santana 160 RMB

Volkswagen Golf 190 RMB

Volkswagen Polo 260 RMB (completely new car)

It sounds good. I am planning to rent a car as soon as possible and practice in nearby areas. To be honest, I am still not confident enough to drive on the busy Shanghai street. As I described in this article Traffic Rules in Shanghai, most people with driver’s license in U.S. are afraid to drive here in Shanghai – some were even frightened when they were seated in a Shanghai taxi…

Passed the Field and Road Driving Exam

As I forecast before, I went to the Driver’s Education Base. I finally passed both the field and the road exam. After two weeks, I will attend the real situation road test. Hopefully, I will get a driver’s license after I pass the exam.

The field test is a virtual parking log made up of 8 poles. Five steps were required:

  • Step 1: Move the car out of the parking lot
  • Step 2: Reverse it to the other one.
  • Step 3: Move the car to the right side
  • Step 4: Drive the car out of the right parking lot
  • Step 5: Reserve it back to the original place

See this simple diagram:

screen-driving.test-diagram.PNG

I drove the car very slow and successfully performed all the five steps without touching the poles.

Road Test

The road test is much shorter than I expected. The supervisor only asked me to start, turn left, turn right and stop. That is all.

I did make a mistake during the shot exam. I didn’t stop at the stop sign!

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That is a huge mistake. Thank God that the supervisor finally let me pass.

dalian-yellow.sunflower-on.hill.jpgThis is a special day for me.

I’d like to put a small yellow flower here,

in memory of the good times

Driving for Exams

I was told that the first driving exam (the road test) will be held this Thursday. This is surprising to me since I am not ready yet. I will practice reserve the car, move the car and turn left and right the whole day today, and hopefully to pass the exam so I can continue to practice on real road for about two weeks, then if I pass the final exam, I can get the license.

The place for the practice is just besides Hong Qiao Airport. I can see planes getting off and landing every five minutes, just about 300 meters away from the runway…

This month seems to be the Month of Exam for me.

Learn to Drive

I am learning to drive a car from today. To get a driver’s license is not easy – it is both complicated and expensive.

I try to get a driver’s license in two months. It is type C which is good for the cars under 3 ton.

I am lucky to learn on completely new Volkswagen Santana GLi – it is really new since the odometer shows 42 km when I drive on it and after one afternoon, it shows 102 km. :-)

It is interesting that I begin to drive on the real road at the afternoon of the first day. It sounds astonishing, right? I think so too. I believe I need to put a large notice board on the area I drive:

CAUTIONS: Jian Shuo Wang is driving here. Do escape, as fast as you can

In case you really what to know the most dangerous area in the city, it is in Xinzhuang near the Xinzhuang Central Park. :-)